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Thread: Your view regarding Heaven

  1. -21
    tylerdolphin's Avatar
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    I actually agree with Statler on the intelligence part. I know people more intelligent than I am that are believers. I tend to think its more personality than intelligence that decides how likely someone is to be religious.

    As for atheists not knowing the Bible, I joke around a lot and use intentional hyperbole at times when talking about Christianity. That being said, I was a devout Christian for about 18 years and a conflicted one for another year or two. If I am being serious in a discussion about the Bible, I feel like I can pretty well explain why I feel certain ways about Scripture and such and not butcher what is actually being taught in the Bible. Trust me, I used to be very devout. So anything you want to ask me and have a serious conversation about, ask in here and Ill attempt to answer without hyperbole.




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    tylerdolphin's Avatar
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    Cam Wake 91
    Quote Originally Posted by Statler Waldorf View Post

    Hitchens was a brilliant rhetorist, nothing more. His knowledge of philosophy, theology, and even biology were rudimentary at best, which was evidenced whenever he faced someone like Berlinski who was very well educated in all three disciplines. Take that video for example, he completely banks off of the premise, ‘if Hitchens doesn’t like the concept of something, that thing doesn’t exist.” This of course is a horrible logical non-sequitur, he either knows that and doesn’t care he’s being irrational, or he really doesn’t have a very good working knowledge about the rational reasoning he champions. Either way he’s quite inadequate.
    I dont think Hitchens point was that it proves God doesnt exist. His point in that video is that even if God does exist, he doesnt care much for the God described in the Abrahamic religions.
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    Statler Waldorf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tylerdolphin View Post
    I actually agree with Statler on the intelligence part. I know people more intelligent than I am that are believers. I tend to think its more personality than intelligence that decides how likely someone is to be religious.

    As for atheists not knowing the Bible, I joke around a lot and use intentional hyperbole at times when talking about Christianity. That being said, I was a devout Christian for about 18 years and a conflicted one for another year or two. If I am being serious in a discussion about the Bible, I feel like I can pretty well explain why I feel certain ways about Scripture and such and not butcher what is actually being taught in the Bible. Trust me, I used to be very devout. So anything you want to ask me and have a serious conversation about, ask in here and Ill attempt to answer without hyperbole.
    Hello Tyler,

    I was not referring to people like you at all when I made that statement. I am fully aware that you have a good understanding of what scripture teaches (better than many Christians I know). My point was that unfortunately people like you are a rare breed these days; most atheists only get their Biblical information from third party websites or even worse from “The New Atheists”, who are the kings of hyperbole and misrepresentation. I commend you for putting an emphasis on accurate representation. It’d be interesting to have a dialogue with you sometime as to exactly why you left the faith, I always find those reverse testimonies interesting.

    -SW
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  4. -24
    Statler Waldorf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tylerdolphin View Post
    I dont think Hitchens point was that it proves God doesnt exist. His point in that video is that even if God does exist, he doesnt care much for the God described in the Abrahamic religions.


    Well even if that was his point, who cares? I don’t understand why anyone cares whether Christopher Hitchens liked the concept of God or not. I happen to love the concept of Yahweh, is my opinion any less relevant than his? People idolized that man far too much; there are far better reasoned atheists out there to idolize. There is an excellent book that is worth reading called, “The Devil’s Delusion” by David Berlinski, he points out the fact that people really put far too much stock in what secular scientists and atheists think about theology, he thinks you’d be better off getting business law counseling from a biologist if you’re asking for their opinion about God.
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    tylerdolphin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Statler Waldorf View Post
    Hello Tyler,

    I was not referring to people like you at all when I made that statement. I am fully aware that you have a good understanding of what scripture teaches (better than many Christians I know). My point was that unfortunately people like you are a rare breed these days; most atheists only get their Biblical information from third party websites or even worse from “The New Atheists”, who are the kings of hyperbole and misrepresentation. I commend you for putting an emphasis on accurate representation. It’d be interesting to have a dialogue with you sometime as to exactly why you left the faith, I always find those reverse testimonies interesting.

    -SW
    Its somewhat of a long story and it certainly didnt happen overnight or because of one single event or thought. The transition from Christian to disillusioned Christian to Deist, to agnostic/atheist took a few years. Ill probably type it out later tonight in this thread. It might be a bit of a novel, so bear with it .
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  6. -26
    tylerdolphin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Statler Waldorf View Post

    Well even if that was his point, who cares? I don’t understand why anyone cares whether Christopher Hitchens liked the concept of God or not. I happen to love the concept of Yahweh, is my opinion any less relevant than his? People idolized that man far too much; there are far better reasoned atheists out there to idolize. There is an excellent book that is worth reading called, “The Devil’s Delusion” by David Berlinski, he points out the fact that people really put far too much stock in what secular scientists and atheists think about theology, he thinks you’d be better off getting business law counseling from a biologist if you’re asking for their opinion about God.
    Well obviously his personal views dont prove anything. I personally liked Hitchens to a point. I dont think he proved anything, but I enjoyed listening to him speak and some of his points were good IMO. That said, I personally dont care much for the almost militant anti-religion views he held. I dont think he went about trying to, for lack of a better word, convert people in the right way. Its counter-productive. I know for me, people like Hitchens or Dawkins calling me an idiot had no part in me leaving religion. It was something I had to come to myself. If you want to get someone to perhaps start seeing things from your point of view, there has to be a 2 way understanding of the opinions being discussed. Once you have had a discussion like that in a non-threatening way, your opinion is at least considered in that person's mind. If you are belittling someone's beliefs, they are going to be defensive and not even consider your point of view.

    So basically I think Hitchens was a great speaker and writer and had some good points, but Id never use them as some example of how to have a productive discussion with someone about religion. Same with Dawkins.
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  7. -27
    Locke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tylerdolphin View Post
    Its somewhat of a long story and it certainly didnt happen overnight or because of one single event or thought. The transition from Christian to disillusioned Christian to Deist, to agnostic/atheist took a few years. Ill probably type it out later tonight in this thread. It might be a bit of a novel, so bear with it .
    The wifey had a similar path. She'd be a better storyteller, but it pretty much came down to having more questions than answers, the answers that were there being unsatisfactory, and being told to drop it with the ones she couldn't get answers to. She also was/is bisexual, and was treated like a leper by her church and family when she tried dating a girl as a teen. Apparently its hard to believe in something that doesn't believe in you...

    If I could take your pain and frame it, and hang it on my wall,
    maybe you would never have to hurt again...

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    Statler Waldorf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tylerdolphin View Post
    So basically I think Hitchens was a great speaker and writer and had some good points, but Id never use them as some example of how to have a productive discussion with someone about religion. Same with Dawkins.


    Yes, I agree, and that is why I said he was a brilliant rhetorist, he could make everything he said sound relevant and as if it was a “kill shot” to the opposition’s position. However, I often found that if you dissected his monologues piece by piece and asked yourself, “is that point really relevant to the topic? Does that point actually prove something?” you’d find that his presentation was rather superficial. I also found it’s good to read the transcripts from Hitchens’ debates because there you don’t get fooled by the presentation of the information and can allow the information he presented to stand or fall on its own merits. Dawkins is a whole different creature with a whole different set of issues. :-P

    I am looking forward to reading your “novel” :- )
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  9. -29
    rob19's Avatar
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    "When men fight with one another, and the wife of the one draws near to rescue her husband from the hand of him who is beating him, and puts out her hand and seizes him by the private parts, then you shall cut off her hand." -- Deuteronomy 25:11-12

    Just one of many examples where the unquestioned literal interpretation of a dogmatic law being ridiculous. Faith in the existence of a ‘God’ or whatever you want to call it, has nothing to do with intelligence, but the blind, literal following of dogmatic law is not intelligent behavior.

    Few more;

    "If a man lies with a woman during her sickness and uncovers her nakedness, he has discovered her flow, and she has uncovered the flow of her blood. Both of them shall be cut off from her people." (Leviticus 20:18)

    "If a man lie with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them." (Leviticus 20:13)

    "Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard." (Leviticus 19:27)

    "But all in the seas or in the rivers that do not have fins and scales, all that move in the water or any living thing which is in the water, they are an abomination to you." (Leviticus 11:10)

    "Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property." (Leviticus 25:44-45)

    Etc.
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    Statler Waldorf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob19 View Post
    "When men fight with one another, and the wife of the one draws near to rescue her husband from the hand of him who is beating him, and puts out her hand and seizes him by the private parts, then you shall cut off her hand." -- Deuteronomy 25:11-12
    Quote Originally Posted by rob19 View Post

    Just one of many examples where the unquestioned literal interpretation of a dogmatic law being ridiculous. Faith in the existence of a ‘God’ or whatever you want to call it, has nothing to do with intelligence, but the blind, literal following of dogmatic law is not intelligent behavior.

    Few more;

    "If a man lies with a woman during her sickness and uncovers her nakedness, he has discovered her flow, and she has uncovered the flow of her blood. Both of them shall be cut off from her people." (Leviticus 20:18)

    "If a man lie with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them." (Leviticus 20:13)

    "Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard." (Leviticus 19:27)

    "But all in the seas or in the rivers that do not have fins and scales, all that move in the water or any living thing which is in the water, they are an abomination to you." (Leviticus 11:10)

    "Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property." (Leviticus 25:44-45)

    Etc.
    This is exactly what I was talking about with Hitchens, here Rob has provided a list of verses, that even if his simplistic interpretations of such verses were valid (which they’re not, the evil American styled slavery would have been forbidden in ancient Israel) when you examine them turn out to be completely irrelevant to the debate because he has no basis for his moral objections.

    Let’s say that Christianity is true, then morality directly derives from God’s decrees and there is no room to object to any of these verses because to do so would be invoking a moral standard outside of God.
    If Rob’s atheism were true, morality would be culturally relative and subjective, which means that he has still no ground to object to any of these verses because the Hebrews were merely adopting their own form of morality.

    You see, his objections are utterly irrelevant (he knows this, it’s merely a red herring trying to tug at people’s emotions); it’s the classic case of “heads I win tails you lose.”
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